Anyone who has perused my many Instructables will have noticed that they have been created on two continents: North America and South America. The "Outdoor Workshop Contest" has inspired me to share some photos of one of my bases of operation; My outdoor workshop (or "oficina") in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
First a bit about the term "oficina." In Spanish, it means what you might think; "office." But in Portuguese it has a different meaning, closer to the English word for "workshop." If your car breaks down in Brazil, you bring it to the mechanic's "oficina." (I learned this distinction the hard way when I lost my luggage once, and kept asking airport employees where the "oficina" was. They must have been thinking: "This crazy gringo just lost his luggage... What does he want a mechanic for?";-)
Over the years I've learned a few important things about getting a job done right and in a timely fashion. One is always try to use the right tool for a job when possible, and the other is that it's a lot easier to get job done when you know where all your tools and hardware are. It was this later point that led me to create my "oficina" a few years back, as I would spend more time looking for tools and hardware in various places, than actually building or fixing something. It would drive me crazy spending a half-hour looking for the right screw, only to spend more time looking for the right screwdriver!
Hence my outdoor workshop was born out of the desire to be able to store all my tools, hardware and bits and pieces in one place. It's amazing how much faster you can get things done when you don't spend time searching for a screw...